Adults play a pivotal role in protecting children. It doesn’t matter if it is our biological child or not. Teachers are responsible of their students, day care centres are responsible of their children and the list goes on. In short, we as a society are responsible for the children in our community.
If we see a child in trouble, we rush to help the child as quickly as we can. Yes? No? Ideally Yes, however in reality we do not do so effectively enough resulting in 3800 over cases of child abuse reported just last year. In fact, one of the things I learned at the Premier Skills Girls workshop is that if we sense that a child is in trouble we should take steps to help the child as much as we can. Organised by British Council Malaysia, the three day workshop took place at Wisma FAM, Kelana Jaya recently.
The training was informative and educational. The three trainers Salina, Thency and Nadeeya were from Projek Layang Layang, a voluntary organisation comprising Malaysians who teamed up to educate adults on creating a safe environment for children and to prevent them from becoming victims of child sexual abuse.
One of the many things that I learned was the different types of abuses. It may sound like something everyone knows about but when they started categorising forms of abuse; I realized that what some parents may do regularly such as hitting and yelling are also categorized as abuse. By acquiring this knowledge, I am able to prevent myself from doing such acts that may have long lasting effects on a child’s physical and mental wellbeing.
I also learned how to identify if a child has been a victim of sexual abuse and how to handle disclosure. Disclosure isn’t about interrogating a child which may completely shut off the child from speaking about being sexually abused to anyone. I learned that when a child wants to disclose his/her experience of being sexually abused, as an adult, we must first trust the child. I also learned how to speak in such a way that the child is comfortable to talk to us. They taught us how we should maintain a calm posture, keep a straight face and interact instead of interrogating. They also advised that asking leading questions is a big no-no. This information is handy as we are dealing with children in Challenges foundation. There are school teachers that we are associated with through the Buddy programme and it would be great to pass on this much needed knowledge to them.
Also, the programme discussed about training girls in football. The final session by the evergreen Puan Normala Rashid was an absolute gem. She spoke boldly about the obstacles that the women football team in Malaysia is going through. I now feel the urge to participate in uplifting women’s football in Malaysia through my articles.
Apart from that, I personally felt that it would have been more useful for me as an intern writer at Challenges Media, if there had been a little more focus on sexual abuse among children with disability and football among girls with disability. In a nutshell, the training had been very informative, educational and empowering. It created awareness on how we should act as responsible adults towards children who are subjected to our care and concern.
In a nutshell, the training had been very informative, educational and empowering. It created awareness on how we should act as responsible adults towards children who are subjected to our care and concern.